All consultations happen with the writer present. Consultants talk (or chat online) with you about your goals for the writing and your plans for revision, so your participation in the session is integral. Consultants will not discuss your paper (content, structure, grammar, etc.) with anyone but you - unless you are present and willing to invite other voices into the conversation about your piece.
Consultations should last for 30 minutes. This time frame helps you and the consultant stay focused on your concerns for the draft and your plans for revision. As you'll see, a lot can happen in 30 minutes!
Writers may have one consultation per day. Consultations are meant to empower you to do your own writing/revising, and sessions are focused on giving you feedback to consider as you continue writing on your own. We want to ensure you apply what you learned in a session to make changes to your writing before working with another consultant. The center tends to be a busy place, so this policy also enables as many students to get appointment slots or drop-in support as possible.
Though you may come in looking for editorial support, consultants are trained to help you proofread your own paper - that means the consultant won't fix your paper for you; instead, they will guide you through the process of revising/crafting your own work based on tips they've learned along the way as writers or based on what you need as a writer. Additionally, consultants will be able to help you with much more than just proofreading or editing your paper! The Writing Center can help with any stage of the writing process - that includes brainstorming topics, integrating research, planning and organizing the structure of your piece, revising on a large scale (i.e. changing your topic) and on a small scale (i.e. rewording a sentence), offering a new perspective as a reader/audience, challenging ideas in your argument through kind discussion, and much more!
Because they are not professors, consultants will not grade your writing or tell you that the writing is "finished" and ready for submission. As experienced readers, trained responders, and good writers themselves, they have many useful suggestions for you to consider when revising, but these suggestions should not be interpreted as "grading" your writing.
Many professors expect that students complete take-home exams without assistance from anyone. For this reason, consultants won't work with writers on take-home exams except in cases where the professor has indicated on the assignment sheet or syllabus that such help is acceptable.
We hope that writers come to the Writing Center when they want help, but we recognize that sometimes there are other people involved in deciding whether writers need more help or not; therefore, if for any reason you need to share your visit with your professor or an advisor or a coach, just tell your consultant at the end of the consultation. All consultations end with Session Notes (these help you keep track of what you accomplished and what you plan to continue regarding your writing), and they can be emailed to anyone you wish (as long as you have the email).
If you would like more information about your Grand Valley rights as a student and/or about Grand Valley expects of you as a student, click STUDENT CODE to learn more.
Have other questions? Stop in and visit! Or call us at 331-2922.